How to celebrate the Summer Solstice in Wisconsin

How to celebrate the Summer Solstice in Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Selvan B via Unsplash.

By Ellery Weil

June 10, 2024

The days are getting longer, strawberries and nectarines are abundant in the grocery store, and you’ve put away your heavy coats for the end of the season. The signs are clear — summer is on its way to Wisconsin, and it’s coming on fast. But did you know that the official start of summer is on Thursday, June 20 this year? That’s the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the official first day of summer.

For centuries, people all over the world have celebrated the summer solstice (sometimes called Midsummer, as in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”) with parties, music, feasting, and dancing. But how can you get in on the fun this year? Wisconsinites won’t be short of opportunities! From parties and festivals to spending time in nature, here are some great Badger State ways that you can celebrate the summer solstice:

1. Get Down at the Summer Soulstice Festival

Want to put the “soul” in “solstice”? Well, Milwaukee’s annual Summer Soulstice Festival is just the place to do it! On June 15, Summer Soulstice returns to Milwaukee with over 25 performers on six different stages, along with rock climbing, bingo and trivia, and local craft vendors. With performances starting at midday, and continuing late into the night, you can take advantage of summer’s extra daylight to enjoy the music as long as you like!

2. Make Some Noise at Beloit Make Music Day

Started in France in the 1980s, Make Music Day is now an international event, with over 1,000 towns and cities participating in 120 countries around the world. This year, Beloit is hosting a family-friendly, free summer solstice festival on June 21 for Make Music Day, with live musical performers from Beloit musicians of all ages and styles. You can kick off the festival on June 20, and celebrate the shortest night of the year at a community fire and drum circle — all are welcome!

3. Celebrate With the Family at the Turtle Lake Summer Solstice Celebration

Looking for a fun way to enjoy the summer solstice that has something for Wisconsinites of all ages? Head up North to Turtle Lake’s summer solstice celebration, a free family-friendly event on June 21. Visitors to the festival can enjoy live music, crafts, food vendors, and art, including balloon sculptures and festive chalk art to celebrate the season. Pets are welcome, so bring your furry family members too!

4. Get Active at the Manitowish Waters Solstice Festival

Solstice on wheels, anyone? In Manitowish Waters, the start of summer means the start of the cycling season — and the annual Manitowish Waters Solstice Festival. From June 14-16, you can join in on one of four different bike routes, including a family-friendly trail, and beginner, intermediate, and advanced routes for adults. While cycling is the headline event, visitors can also enjoy live music, yoga in the park, a dog-friendly fun run, or just relaxing with a drink and a snack from one of the festival’s vendors — a perfect way to unwind after a long ride!

5. Indulge in the Fine Art of Solstice at the Friends of the Haggerty Summer Solstice Party

Every other year, Marquette University’s Haggerty Museum of Art gathers supporters for the Biennial Friends of the Haggerty Summer Solstice Party. This is an elegant affair, held at the Milwaukee home of two of the museum’s biggest supporters, with live music, an open bar, and plenty of hor d’oeuvres for all. If you want to dance away the longest sunset of 2024, while supporting the arts, reserve a ticket and be sure to dress in your finest!

6. Take a Solstice Adventure

Want to enjoy every last minute of the longest day of the year? Consider a solstice-themed road trip. Wisconsin is home to four national parks and 69 state parks and recreation sites, where you can enjoy all the natural beauty the state has to offer on the longest daylight hours of the year, or make it a beach day on the shores of the Great Lakes. Not an outdoors fan? Take a city break to enjoy the funky boutiques and galleries of Madison, or head to Milwaukee for a Brewer’s game — summer in Wisconsin has something for everyone!

7. Throw Your Own Solstice Party

There are plenty of different ways to enjoy the summer solstice — and you can combine your favorites when you throw your own summer solstice party! Whether that’s cooking up a solstice feast full of seasonal Wisconsin produce, making flower crowns for you and your guests, or maybe celebrating the sun and other stars with stargazing and celestial treats, use your imagination to create a welcome to summer that’s just right for you!

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.How to celebrate the Summer Solstice in WisconsinHow to celebrate the Summer Solstice in Wisconsin


  • Ellery Weil

    Ellery Weil is a historian and writer who holds degrees from the University of Michigan and University College London. In her spare time, she likes cooking, theater, and petting dogs she meets on the street.



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